Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker has encouraged service veterans in the Port Macquarie region to take full advantage of renewed Commonwealth funding for advocacy services provided through the local branch of the Vietnam Veterans Peacekeepers and Peacemakers Association.
Mr Hartsuyker met this week with Bill Wagner, President of the Hastings Manning Macleay sub-branch of the organisation, to pass on the news that almost $30,000 would be provided for continuing advocacy on behalf of local veterans this year.
The Association offers many support services, from helping veterans deal with bureaucratic issues related to their time in the services, through all too common post-traumatic stress, and to deal with the host of other short and long term challenges many confront in their transition to peaceful civilian life.
Mr Hartsuyker said the Association was an important avenue for volunteers and professionals alike to display life-long support and respect for veterans.
He said that he wished it would be better recognised in the wider community, and even by veterans themselves.
“The ranks of World War 2 veterans are now thinning dramatically, and even the Vietnam vets are now in their 70’s, but they remain very important alongside a whole new generation of people who have to make that often very difficult transition from more recent conflicts and peace keeping tasks, where challenges and impacts can be just as life-changing as the experience of combat.
“Service in East Timor, for example, was a peace-keeping exercise but an extremely stressful operation.
“Several of the more recent wars our people have been involved in, like the long running operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria, have parallels with Vietnam service, where danger and exposure to suffering is constant, and not just a factor in sharp, typically short and nasty contacts.
“A lot of this growing new band of veterans will need support, and all of them deserve it. There are many people, typically veterans themselves, who will understand, and are ready to help.”
Just call the Association on 65815230 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The postal address is VVPPAA Inc, PO Box 5330, Port Macquarie NSW 2444.